Lightning Strike

Discussion in 'General Bike Discussion' started by Grenouille, May 9, 2010.

  1. Grenouille

    Grenouille Grenouille

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    If one were hit by lightning riding, would your tires insulate you as in a car? Or would you get french fried?

    Not that I'm looking to push the envelope here... But yesterday mornining as T-storms rolled thru, I saw a couple cyclists out (as I drove by them on my way to the gym).
     
  2. Industry_Hack

    Industry_Hack Total noob (& forum admin) Admin Staff Tavern Member

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    I wouldn't count on them to help, should that happen.
     

  3. photosbymark

    photosbymark New Member

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    with that much voltage, unless you were inside a metal box on tires Id suspect an arc would be the result and you would be the conductor
     
  4. Doohickie

    Doohickie Older than Hack

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    If there is enough voltage to leap over the thousands of feet of air from the cloud to your body, do you think an inch gap between your rims and the ground will have any effect?
     
  5. BlazingPedals

    BlazingPedals Member

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    What photos and Doohickie said. That spark is hotter than the surface of the sun and has already jumped a mile or more through the air to get to you. In a car, the tires don't help at all, but the car's body acts as a Faraday cage to divert the charge around you. On a bike, the bolt would hit you directly. Wet skin doesn't have enough resistance to matter, and your body would make a good approximation of that little piece of wire in a fuse. You'd get a pretty bad burn at the entrance and exit spots, too; but that would only matter if most of the bolt missed you.
     
  6. Hardtail

    Hardtail Ridin Dirty

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    Sounds like this should be sent into Mythbuster!
     
  7. hophead

    hophead New Member Tavern Member

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    I don't think that there's a myth to be busted here. Even if there were, good luck finding a volunteer to ride the bike.:eek:
     
  8. TxCyclist

    TxCyclist Administrator Staff Member Admin Staff

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    You would be toast I would assume. Though would moving fairly fast make you less of an object?
     
  9. hophead

    hophead New Member Tavern Member

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    You'll be less of an object if you get struck by lightning.
     
  10. Industry_Hack

    Industry_Hack Total noob (& forum admin) Admin Staff Tavern Member

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    Ouch.
     
  11. SUX VR40 Rider

    SUX VR40 Rider New Member

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    Believe it or not it is not the rubber tires of a car that insulate you from lightening. It is the metal frame of the car that protects you. It acts as a grounding rod. So no, the rubber tires fo your bike will not protect you. If you're exposed in a thunderstorm get inside as fast as you can, especially if there is lightening.

    If you can't, well I'm not sure if a moving object, such as someone on a bike, is harder for lightening to hit than something standing still. They say if you're caught in lightening you're suppsoed to crouch down and put yourself in a ball as low to the ground as you can. Someone on a bike can move faster than someone walking so I don't know in this kind of situation.
     
  12. SUX VR40 Rider

    SUX VR40 Rider New Member

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    That's what they use Buster for.
     
  13. Industry_Hack

    Industry_Hack Total noob (& forum admin) Admin Staff Tavern Member

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    No cyclist is afraid of lightening.
     
  14. BlazingPedals

    BlazingPedals Member

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    Hmm... electrons move at the speed of light. Their speed is somewhat less when moving through atmosphere than in a vacuum - and the circuitous path slows it further; but still, you can ride as fast as you wish and still be effectively motionless by comparison.
     
  15. funetical

    funetical Slowin it up.

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    Electrons don't move at the speed of light. Light is the only thing that travels at the speed of light... that we know of. Lighting moves at 130,000 mph.

    Speed of light is 186,000 miles per second.

    Lighting is still a mystery. Whether or not your struck by it is determined by the area you are in and whether or not you are the tallest thing in the way of it making contact with the ground.

    What we do know about lighting is limited. Further proof that now matter how advanced we think we are, we are wrong.
     
  16. djcyberlegend

    djcyberlegend Group rookie

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    The notion that lightning always strikes the tallest object is actually a myth. The path of a lightning bolt is actually purely random, and like any other form of electricity, tends to seek the path of least resistance, which is not necessarily the tallest object. For example, an antenna mounted on a chimney may present a higher-resistance path than an air terminal of a lightning rod system mounted at a lower height. In which case, since the air terminal will provide a lower-resistance path, it will safely channel the energy from the lightning bolt to the ground.

    Also, the majority of cloud-to-ground lightning strikes actually tend to originate from the ground since the rain water carries electrons from the clouds to the ground, causing the ground to become negatively charged and the clouds to become positively charged. Since the flow of any electrical current is from negative to positive (electrons move from where there are more to where there are less), the bolt will actually jump from the ground through the path of least resistance to the cloud above.

    But, as was stated earlier, a bolt of lightning that travels over a mile through the air will not be stopped by a few inches of rubber in the tires.
     
  17. funetical

    funetical Slowin it up.

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    DJ, it's to my understanding that lighting is not fully explained yet. Am I wrong and do you have a link? I love to be wrong, it gives me more to read.
     
  18. Industry_Hack

    Industry_Hack Total noob (& forum admin) Admin Staff Tavern Member

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  19. funetical

    funetical Slowin it up.

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    I think monsters. For a long time lighting was blamed on the devil. It was even thought the lighting rod was a way of circumventing the devil, which was not part of gods plan. It wasn't even the dark ages. This is just a couple of hundred years ago.
     
  20. Industry_Hack

    Industry_Hack Total noob (& forum admin) Admin Staff Tavern Member

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    In Texas?